This is geared for professionals who are committed to the self-examination in a collective space focused on the effort to redefine LatinX identity in a way that acknowledges and moves beyond the role of historical trauma in shaping the experiences and identities of the LatinX community. Social justice advocacy and educational excellence is multi-faceted and reflects the complexities of this group such that this examination would help better understand how to identify possibilities to be effective leaders only made aware to us through this journey. This should particularly benefit decision makers & practitioners whose focus is the identified group Hispanic/Chicano/a/Latin@/LatinX, etc. The intended outcome includes a personal leadership transformation that will manifest in a professional network of leaders to move forward an equity agenda that serves the community.


With these challenges in mind, this institute intends to unpack the complexity through mind, body & spirit exercises. The focus for participants is to examine the contemporary racial identity development theories and frames as they relate to the multifaceted experiences of LatinX. The emphasis of this institute is to include a deep self-inquiry of identity in a collective space in order to examine our professional practices in a way that generates empowerment to transformative action for the next generation of students.



The term Hispanic – Latino - La Raza – Chicano/a –– Xicano/a – Boriqua - Puerto-Rican – Mestizo/a – Brown – Country-hyphenated-American, etc. is a concept that began in 1492 and has continued to evolve ever since the birth of the first child in the Americas among the fusion of Europeans, Africans, Asians, Native peoples. There is so much pride and astounding contributions from the people who identify with these names. Unfortunately, this concept is also a direct result of the brutal pillage of the indigenous communities, rape of our mother’s mother, torture of our father’s father.


The concept LatinX is not stagnant rather the ongoing culmination of all these experiences mentioned above that transcends race, language, country, etc. and the illusive bond is our critical consciousness awareness. This category provides the diversity among us, and yet still fortifies our solidarity with one another because we acknowledge the healing process from our collective historical trauma of colonization. Participants will look for this connection and diversity as the fuel to ensure the journey continues.



The Conocimiento Principle recognizes that common unity begins with the process of shared awareness and understanding, or Conocimiento. In essence, we must learn the basics of who each person is before we can evolve the trust and bonding required for unity and shared group power. With this principle in mind, all group efforts balance the focus on a task with a conscious effort to maximize relationships of shared awareness among participants. The Conocimiento Principle emphasizes the necessity of consciously creating community within the group to heighten the potential for personal growth and shared action. Increased bonding and trust in the group can lead to deeper sharing, greater insights, increased commitment to action, and the inspiration of feeling that you are greater than one person – you are part of a community. Conocimiento as a spiritual process has been conceptualized by Gloria Anzaldua in 7 stages: “You struggle each day to know the world you live in, to come to grips with the problems of life. Motivated by the need to understand, you crave to be what and who you are. A spiritual hunger rumbles deep in your belly, the yearning to live up to your potential.” (p.540- This bridge we call home) This seven stage process is without a start or end point, moving forward continually and non-chronologically.